Samurai The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...
The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...
The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...
The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...
The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...
Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...
No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...
Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...
Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
The Buddha Of Mercy
Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt;
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on earth
many more causes of pain than of pleasure; and that pain exists
positively, but pleasure is a mere absence of pain because we are
conscious of sickness but not of health; of loss, but not of
possession. On the contrary, religious optimists insist that there
must not be any evil in God's universe, that evil has no independent
nature, but simply denotes a privation of good--that is, evil is
null, is nought, is silence implying sound.'
[FN#214] Schopenhauer, 'The World as Will and Idea' (R. B. Haldane
and J. Kemp's translation, vol. iii., pp. 384-386); Hartman,
'Philosophy of the Unconsciousness' (W. C. Coupland's translation,
vol. iii., pp. 12-119).
No matter what these one-sided observers' opinion may be, we are
certain that we experience good as well as evil, and feel pain and
pleasure as well. Neither can we alleviate the real sufferings of
the sick by telling them that sickness is no other than the absence
of health, nor can we make the poor a whit richer by telling them
that poverty is a mere absence of riches. How could we save the
dying by persuading them that death is a bare privation of life? Is
it possible to dispirit the happy by telling them that happiness is
unreal, or make the fortunate miserable by telling them that fortune
has no objective reality, or to make one welcome evil by telling one
that it is only the absence of good?
You must admit there are no definite external causes of pain nor
those of pleasure, for one and the same thing causes pain at one time
and pleasure at another. A cause of delight to one person turns out
to be that of aversion to another. A dying miser might revive at the
sight of gold, yet a Diogenes would pass without noticing it. Cigars
and wine are blessed gifts of heaven to the intemperate,[FN#215] but
accursed poison to the temperate. Some might enjoy a long life, but
others would heartily desire to curtail it. Some might groan under a
slight indisposition, while others would whistle away a life of
serious disease. An Epicure might be taken prisoner by poverty, yet
an Epictetus would fearlessly face and vanquish him. How, then, do
you distinguish the real cause of pain from that of pleasure? How do
you know the causes of one are more numerous than the causes of the
[FN#215] The author of Han Shu (Kan Sho) calls spirits the gift of
Expose thermometers of several kinds to one and the same temperature.
One will indicate, say, 60°, another as high as 100°, another as low as
15°. Expose the thermometers of human sensibilities, which are of
myriads of different kinds, to one and the same temperature of
environment. None of them will indicate the same degrees. In one
and the same climate, which we think moderate, the Eskimo would be
washed with perspiration, while the Hindu would shudder with cold.
Similarly, under one and the same circumstance some might be
extremely miserable and think it unbearable, yet others would be
contented and happy. Therefore we may safely conclude that there are
no definite external causes of pain and pleasure, and that there must
be internal causes which modify the external.
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